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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 2, 2010

100 years of Scouting


By Zenaida Serrano
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Organization offers boys and parents, too 'a moral compass'.

Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Frank Godek and his son, Anthony, enjoyed a hiking trip on the Big Island two years ago with other Scouts.

Courtesy Frank Godek

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BY THE NUMBERS

About 10,000

boys and girls in Hawai'i served by the Aloha Council.

8 million

square miles, which is the area encompassed by the Boy Scouts of America's Aloha Council. The council includes Hawai'i, Guam, American Samoa, the Marianas, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau, and covers the world's largest geographic area for a Boy Scout council.

Nearly 19,000

boys and girls are served councilwide.

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Parents: Does your child belong to a youth organization, or are you considering it? Join the conversation at HAWAII.MOMSLIKEME.COM.

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The Boy Scouts has helped Frank Godek's teenage son become a better person; and the youth-oriented organization has also helped Godek become a better parent.

The Scout Oath and Law, which encourage members to be loyal, helpful and kind, among other traits, are also words that Godek has come to live by as a parent.

"It does help to provide (my son) with a moral compass that ... affects the whole family," said the Mililani resident, 46.

The Boy Scouts of America and its local Aloha Council, which both celebrate their 100th anniversary this year, remain thriving organizations that continue to benefit children and parents alike.

The organization "instills the traits of the Scout Law in its Scouts by incorporating them into every activity that Scouts participate in," said Matt Hill, the Aloha Council director of field service.

For example, being "helpful" a trait listed in the Scout Law is stressed on weekend campouts as teams are required to complete tasks in and around the campsite. Being "cheerful" is stressed during service projects.

"The Boy Scouts of America and the Aloha Council use the 'rank achievement method,' in which young men complete various requirements to attain the next rank," Hill said. Rank achievement and activities are developed to be age appropriate.

While the Boy Scouts still teaches traditional, tried-and-true Scout skills, such as knot-tying, fire-building and orienteering, the organization has modernized its programs over the past 100 years.

"Scouts today are also introduced to programs that are relevant in relation to modern social issues, such as fiscal management, environmentalism and knowledge and respect of different cultures," Hill said.

Scouts can earn traditional merit badges, such as archery, pioneering and camping, in addition to more contemporary merit badges, including computer science, American business and space exploration.

"The way that information and news are just immediate (today) ... our children are exposed to so much, so fast," added Jeff Woolsey, Scout executive and CEO of the Aloha Council.

It's important for children to have the know-how, character and values to address information that comes at them "fast and furious, and from angles that even ... parents don't understand sometimes," he said.

"We prepare kids to live in this global world of information ... so Scouting is very relevant," Woolsey said.

Godek, whose 15-year-old son, Anthony, has been a Scout for 10 years, said the organization has had a positive impact on his son.

"It has helped him with establishing goals and achieving them, and helping to develop positive self-esteem, and just giving him a good foundation," said Godek, a computer consultant who was also a Scout.

The Boy Scouts has also had a positive impact on Godek, who said the organization has taught him how to be a better parent.

"It really gets me to reflect upon my actions, with regards to the Scout Oath and Law," Godek said. "There are times when something might be easier to do if I skirted some of it, but it (the oath and law) always comes back to me ...

"If I expect my son to follow that, than I need to follow that as well," he said.

FOR PARENTS

Many parents strive to raise children with qualities exemplified by the Scouts. Matt Hill, the Aloha Council director of field service, offers these parenting tips:
Lead by example. If parents use the traits of the Scout Oath and Law in their own lives, their children will most likely follow suit.
Be involved in your child's life, whether it be in school, sports or Scouting.
Allow your child to be exposed to a variety of experiences.
Bring your children outdoors; go on a hike, paddle or take a camping trip.
Get them involved in Scouting. For details, contact the Aloha Council at 595-6366 or www.alohacouncilbsa.org. The site also offers information about the organization's history and local events celebrating its 100th anniversary.

LEARN MORE ...


This year, Boy Scouts in Hawai'i and in the United States are celebrating 100 years of Scouting. Check out the My Advertiser page of The Advertiser each Sunday throughout the year for historic photographs and factoids to help commemorate the centennial.

Reach Zenaida Serrano at 535-8174. Follow her Twitter updates at www.twitter.com/zenaidaserrano.